Nov. 6, 2010 – Chicago Wolves 2 at GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 4
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Cory Emmerton’s goal with 11:25 remaining broke a 2-2 tie and proved to be the difference on Saturday as the Grand Rapids Griffins earned a hard-fought 4-2 win over the Chicago Wolves at Van Andel Arena.
Now on a seven-game point streak, Emmerton also extended his assist streak to six games, two shy of the franchise record. Meanwhile, linemate Ilari Filppula tallied a goal and two assists to push his team-leading point total to 15 and help Grand Rapids improve to 4-1-0-1 in its last six outings.
The Griffins (6-3-0-2) will attempt to earn their fifth straight road win on Sunday when they visit the Lake Erie Monsters at 5 p.m.
The Wolves (6-5-1-0) caught two breaks before the contest was four minutes old, helping them survive the buzzsaw of the Griffins’ early pressure. Two minutes in, Jordan Owens fired a shot from the right circle that found the top left corner of the net and quickly bounced out. Play continued without a signal from referee Terry Koharski or a red light from the goal judge, but replays from Chicago’s television broadcast – not accessible to the on-ice officials – clearly showed the goal.
Chicago’s second break came two minutes later when goalie Edward Pasquale got a piece of a shot by Emmerton, but the puck fell behind him and tantalizingly sat inches from the goal line before being swept away by a Wolves defender.
Grand Rapids kept pushing and finally was rewarded on its 10th shot at the 11:28 mark, as Travis Ehrhardt fired from high in the right circle and slipped the puck through Pasquale’s five hole for his first career AHL goal. Jan Mursak earned the first assist, extending his career-high point streak to eight games and tying for the 18th-longest scoring streak in franchise history.
The Wolves answered on just their fifth shot during a power play at 13:18. A long-range try by Nigel Dawes from the left boards clanged off the iron, but Andre Deveaux beat a Griffin to the loose puck in the crease and knocked it across the line.
The Griffins used their league-leading power play to restore their one-goal lead with 3:14 left in the frame, when Derek Meech’s backdoor pass eventually found Filppula at the left post for an easy redirection.
Deveaux’s second goal of the night accounted for all of the scoring in the middle period, as he finished off a 2-on-1 by slamming Michael Davies’ pass into a yawning net from the left circle at 11:12.
Grand Rapids grabbed its final lead of the night 8:35 into the third. A long outlet pass by Filppula found a streaking Emmerton in the neutral zone, and with a step on his defender he snapped a shot past Pasquale from the left hashmarks.
Tomas Tatar jammed home an empty-netter with 24 seconds remaining for the final margin.
McCollum snapped back from Friday’s loss to Manitoba with a solid 19-save performance, while Pasquale played well in defeat by making 28 stops, including several of the spectacular variety.
Three Stars: 1. GR Emmerton (game-winning goal, assist); 2. GR Filppula (power play goal, 2 assists); 3. CHI Deveaux (2 goals)